GRIFFITH PARK—On May 30, star lovers will be able to look through Griffith Observatory’s historic telescopes and talk to astronomers about what they see.
The event will be one of the Observatory’s monthly free public star parties. From 2 p.m to 9:45 p.m., guests will be able to observe the Sun, the Moon, visible planets, and other objects through a variety of telescopes, including the Observatory’s famous Zeiss and coelostat (or solar) telescopes. Volunteers from local and national astronomical organizations will also be available to talk to guests about star-gazing and the finer details of telescopes.
Visitors can learn more about the inner workings of Griffith’s Observatory’s most popular telescope, the Zeiss. According to the Observatory’s website, “since opening in 1935, more than seven million people have put an eye to [the] original 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope. More people have looked through it than any other telescope in the world.” Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, whose bequest made the Observatory possible, would be pleased with the Zeiss’ popularity. In fact, Griffith made his bequest after looking through a research telescope at Mount Wilson. He said, of the experience, “If all mankind could look through that telescope, it would change the world!”
The volunteers from the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers, and The Planetary Society are passionate about the wonders of space. These public service organizations are all, in the words of Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, “awed by the discovery of new things, the mysteries of science, the innovation of technology, the bravery of astronauts, and by the stunning images sent back to us from other worlds.” Like Griffith, they are committed to making information about astronomy more accessible to the public.
The upcoming summer star parties are scheduled for June 20, July 25, and August 22.